I’m inclined not to offer any arguments on this point and let Cindi do my talking:
In anti-union SC, teachers’ likelihood of receiving the increased pay and improved working conditions they deserve is inversely proportional to the size of their May Day walkout. https://t.co/DSGvS4gKq4
— Cindi Ross Scoppe (@CindiScoppe) April 28, 2019
Yup. The more of them who show up at the State House when they should be working, the less favorably lawmakers will view their wishes.
Walking out is a bad idea to begin with. Making the State House the end point of your walk is even less wise.
There are all sorts of reasons. Here are two or three:
- We don’t have public employee unions in South Carolina. Never mind whether you or I think that’s a good thing; the point is that our Legislature thinks it is a good thing. So probably the worst thing you can do, if you’re trying to get something out of the Legislature, is to act like a union, with a walkout.
- As the editorial Cindi links to asserts, the assertion that teacher “grievances” have “fallen on deaf ears” rings extremely hollow when the lawmakers you are griping about are about to give you all a 4 percent raise.
- May Day? Really? Are we thinking of the State House grounds as Red Square? Will Scud missiles (or perhaps giant pencils) roll down Gervais Street on trailers?
Is that all that should happen? No. This was supposedly the year for education reform, and thanks to the Senate being the Senate, that didn’t happen. The House did its job, thanks to the leadership of Speaker Jay Lucas and the good-faith work of a consensus of the body, ranging from my old boss Mandy Powers Norrell to my own rep, Micah Caskey.
But I can’t imagine how a mass abandonment of duty on the part of teachers helps us get to where we need to be.
It will be interesting to see who walks out, and who doesn’t. This walkout is the work of the upstart SC for Ed organization, which has been trying to take the role of representing teachers away from the more established groups, such as the S.C. Education Association. SCEA president has expressed some doubts about the event.
But whoever they are, I don’t see the event furthering stated goals…